Soy: The Hidden Truth About This “Health Food”

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by Dr. Mercola  |  9 Comments »

For years, mainstream media has celebrated soy as a  health food, and many Americans are brainwashed to believe that it’s good for them. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

There are two types of soy products: unfermented and fermented. There is enough scientific evidence backing the fact that consuming unfermented soy products, such as soybean oil, soy milk, soy cheese, soy meat, soy protein, and soy infant formula, can harm your health.

On the other hand, health experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends the consumption of fermented soy products, which can actually support your health. Before delving into this, discover the truth that mainstream media has kept from you.

The Power of Marketing

Thanks to the efforts of the Soyfoods Association of North America and successful marketing tactics, sales of unfermented soy products grew from 300 million dollars to nearly four billion between 1992 and 2006. By 2007, over 2,000 soy-based products have appeared on supermarket shelves.
Because of all the hype, majority of Americans eat some soy food product at least once a month. Results from the survey “Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition 2008,” conducted by the United Soybean Board, state that 85 percent of the participants believe soy is healthy.

This is an example of shrewd marketing. Unfermented soy is actually linked to a myriad of serious health complications.

soyUnfermented Soy’s Composition Makes It a Dangerous Food

Health effects associated with soy consumption include cancer, brain damage, infant development problems, thyroid complications, kidney problems, poor immune function, food allergies, reproductive problems, and pregnancy dangers.

Below are reasons why you’re better off avoiding unfermented soy products:

  • Over 90 percent of unfermented soy cultivated in the US is genetically engineered (GE). This means that you may be eating GE soy without knowing it. The problem with GE soy is that it is loaded with toxic pesticides. When consumed, GE soy raises your risk of food allergies and other side effects. Since the introduction of such foods in 1996, there have been increased risks of low birth weight infants, infertility, and other health problems.
  • Soy is loaded with “anti-nutrients,” including saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens, and estrogens. All of these disrupt important enzymes that enable you to digest protein.  They also impair nutrient absorption and metabolism, which affect important functions of your body like your thyroid function.
  • Soy has hemagglutinin, a clot-promoting compound. Hemagglutinin can cause your red blood cells to clump together and prevent the proper absorption and distribution of oxygen to your tissues.
  • Soy contains the isoflavones genistein and daidzein. Isoflavones are estrogen-mimicking substances that block the real hormone. It can also cause impaired endocrine function, reproductive problems, and cancer.
  • Soy has high levels of manganese and aluminum. Because soy is processed through acid washing in aluminum tanks, aluminum is transferred into soy products. At the same time, unfermented soy contains 80 times higher manganese levels than human breast milk, which can lead to brain damage in infants and altered behaviors in adolescents.

Fermented Soy Is the Healthier Choice

Health dangers associated with soy are reduced or eliminated when it is fermented. Fermented soy’s health benefits are evident in Asian populations, whom regularly consume fermented foods such as tempeh, miso, natto, and soy sauce.

Fermented soy foods, especially natto, are loaded with vitamin K2, a nutrient that helps prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems, and brain problems. Nattokinase is an enzyme found in natto that can help dissolve blood clots.

Tofu is an unfermented soy product that Dr. Mercola strictly advises against, as it can cause memory loss, heightened risk of dementia, and brain aging.

In summary, there is a large amount of scientific research showing that soy is not the nutritional panacea of the 21st Century.

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Responses to “Soy: The Hidden Truth About This “Health Food””

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  2. Kathleen Willis says on :

    What about Organic Soy Products?
    Since they promote that anything organic is not allowed pesticides?

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  7. Todd Wissler says on :

    After soy sauce ingredients are blended, the concoction is fermented. Does that make soy sauce healthy if unfermented soy beans are used? Or does the maker have to use fermented soy beans to make soy sauce healthy even if the mixture is later fermented?

  8. Shelli Belleci says on :

    Do you have references for your claims about the dangers of soy?

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